In 2011, IU Indianapolis's Office for Women and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research partnered to launch EMPOWER, an enhanced mentoring program designed to support the research advancement of women and faculty of color. Ten years and 270 participants later, the program continues to play an integral role in helping faculty achieve personal growth and professional success.

EMPOWER is a unique opportunity for IU Indianapolis tenure-track faculty that combines elements of faculty professional development with research development strategies to support them in attaining career success. The goal of EMPOWER is to assist historically underrepresented faculty to become successful in sponsored research and scholarly activity and achieve significant professional growth and advancement.

This is accomplished through a year-long mentoring program with incentives for both the mentor and the mentee. Assistant professors are paired with tenured associate professors, or full professors, and associate professors with full professors for an academic year. Mentors assist mentees with the development of an agenda for research and creative activity aimed at assisting the mentees in submitting an application for external funding.

Over the last ten years, EMPOWER faculty have received over $16 million in external grant funding and prizes, and many participants have successfully advanced through the promotion and tenure process.

Portrait of Silvia Bigatti smiling at the camera.

"Mentoring through EMPOWER is a very rewarding professional experience, allowing us to be part of the success of IU Indianapolis faculty who are attempting to reach important goals, such as tenure and promotion or promotion. We are contributing to the growing diversity of the IU Indianapolis faculty, and it is a learning and growth experience for us mentors as well."

Mentor, Silvia Bigatti, Professor, IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

Women's History Award recipients for 2022

Office for Women advocates for gender equity at IU Indianapolis

EMPOWER, offered through the IU Indianapolis Office for Women and co-sponsored and funded by the IU Research, is just one of the IU Indianapolis programs that support historically underrepresented faculty and staff.

Read more about this story